Will a "leaner, meaner Miramax" be able to mount a strong Oscar campaign?

An article by Sharon Waxman in today’s New York Times questions whether Miramax–which recently cut another 55 employees and has reduced its workforce by 30% this year–has a big enough staff to mount its traditional aggressive Oscar campaign. The layoffs “leave the studio diminished just when it most needs muscle,” Waxman observes.

In the good news, bad news department, the good news from the Times story is that Miramax has chosen to put its (now limited) resources into a campaign for FINDING NEVERLAND and its leading actors, past Oscar nominees Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet. The bad news is that Miramax’s other high-profile fall release, Martin Scorsese’s THE AVIATOR, will have a much better-funded campaign “because Miramax can count on cash from well-heeled Warner Brothers,” the Times reports. “Warner is covering half the film’s marketing and distribution costs, an arrangement that should support a full-scale push to win prizes for the picture and its star, Leonardo DiCaprio.”

A Miramax executive told the Times that being forced to abandon aggressive marketing might actually help the studio’s Oscar contenders, by averting the anti-Miramax backlash that hurt GANGS OF NEW YORK in 2002 and COLD MOUNTAIN in 2003. Johnny’s innate modesty and Kate Winslet’s good-natured candor could provide a refreshing contrast to past Miramax campaigns. The Zone thanks Newbie for breaking the story; you can read the Times article on the News & Views forum.

Comments are closed.